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A Legacy of Legal Scholarship: Oscar S. Gray Memorial Fellowship Endowment

Oscar Gray, the Jacob A. France Professor Emeritus of Torts, was one of the nation’s preeminent torts scholars for more than 40 years. He published the second and third editions of the definitive six-volume treatise on tort law, Harper, James and Gray on Torts. He also was a co-editor of the influential torts casebook, Cases and Materials on Torts, along with Harry Shulman, Fleming James, Jr., and Professor Don Gifford. During the mid-1990s, he served as chair of the AALS Section on Tort and Compensation Systems, and in 2010, he received the William L. Prosser Award for lifetime service from the section.

Upon Gray’s death in 2019, his beloved spouse of more than 50 years, Dr. Sheila Hafter Gray, established an endowment in his honor. The fund creates a faculty teaching fellowship that supports individuals with a demonstrated commitment to legal scholarship who are engaged in teaching the core curriculum at the law school. These scholars will be known as Oscar S. Gray Fellows. The selection of fellows will reflect Professor Gray’s commitment to social justice in civil and military law. Before she passed away in 2021, Dr. Gray generously added to the endowment through a planned gift.

Before the endowment is fully funded, it will support research fellowships to provide supplemental funding for the work of upper-level law students serving as research assistants to faculty members. 

In a special 2020 tribute to Gray in the Maryland Law Review, Gifford, Gray’s longtime collaborator and friend, quoted a University of Virginia professor, who, in the 1990s, said of Gray: “In the world today, no one better epitomizes that ‘ancient and hallowed term “scholar”’ than Oscar Gray.”

It is fitting that Gray’s legacy will live on in the work of future scholars at Maryland Carey Law.